Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Social: The Bigger They Are, The Less Responsibility They Feel On Social Media

Source:  CNET.

Israeli and American generally have a good relationship, one that is built on shared culture, economics, and defense.  And while politicians just love falling all over themselves to say just how special the relationship between America and Israel have (Britain, you're special to us too.  Love you too, Canada and Mexico...am I leaving anyone else out?), things have gotten testy between the current government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Obama administration. 

So, it's no surprise that the of an Israeli minister openly made a racist joke about President Obama.  As as tasteless and just about any other negative sentiment you can come up with over this tweet from the wife of a public figure of a major ally, it deserves to examine just how social media has allowed many of public figures to open up and really share their true feelings and opinions even if they come to regret it later.

And yeah, there is usually apologies and regrets later.  In this case, Judy Mozes, is the wife of the interior minister of Israel, put in charge of the failed peace process.  She also happens to be somewhat of a television personality.  Of course, she tried to erase her tweet to no avail after followers took screen shots of it.  Then professed to love all regardless of race and religion. 

So, why do politicians and celebrities do this on social media?  Shooting themselves in the foot 140-characters at a time?  One possible explanation is the anonimity of social media especially on Twitter.  And yes, when these public figures sent out tweets or Facebook updates, they do know what they are doing and others will to.  However, any inhibition is overcome by their bloated ego and self-importance.  Their needs to continue to be relevant is secondary to anything else. Obviously, the minister's wife is unlikely actually say such a joke if the president was standing in front of her.  A third of a world away on social media? 

In her circle, it was a safe tweet. The blowback is much less, compounded with the fact that her husband and his party are probably not Obama fans. And not just her. Other public figures high up on themselves have created social bubbles that they feel insulate them from consequences of their public actions and absolve them of personal responsibilities. 

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